Author: Startup Waco
Category: Blog

Post Tags: Cen-tex | Centex | Centex Hispanic Chamber | Chamber | community | entrepreneur | Innovation | Waco | Waco Chambers |

Established in 1975, the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has been a driving force of unity in the Waco community for 45 years. Even the organization’s logo, a bridge, demonstrates how the Chamber builds connections and creates space for collaboration between people of all backgrounds within the community.

Alfred Solano, CEO and President of the Chamber since June of 2018, shared a little bit about the Chamber’s journey.

“The Chamber was founded by a small group of individuals that collectively felt like they had an opportunity to capture more business with people of all backgrounds, and organizations of all sizes and industries,” Solano said.

The founders of the Chamber saw that the Hispanic community made up a huge percent of the region’s population yet lacked representation, specifically in business municipalities. Over the years, the chamber has strived to show the value of uniting and promoting the interests of the Hispanic community in Central Texas.

The goal has been to find areas that we can collaborate with the good work going on in our community from organizations like Startup Waco, other chambers, the City of Waco and any other organizations around that could utilize greater reach into the Hispanic community,” Solano said.

The Hispanic population is growing faster than any other ethnic minority in the United States, and with growth comes beautiful diversity in leadership, professional and business owners of Hispanic descent. The Chamber recognizes the increasing value of cultural diversity to our economy and our businesses.

As a result, the Chamber seeks to engage a community of businesses that have not traditionally been part of chambers of commerce by understanding who they are and giving them an avenue to be part of the work. One way the Chamber does this is through HUB certification in partnership with the Small Business Development Center. HUB stands for Historically Underutilized Business, and HUB certification seeks to promote full and equal procurement opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses.

In addition to HUB Certification, the Chamber works with the Small Business Development Center, the African American Chamber of Commerce, the City of Waco, Startup Waco and many other local organizations to offer the ground-level resources to run a business or become an entrepreneur.

As an ethnically named organization, we certainly have a focus on the Hispanic community, but we collaborate closely with so many other organizations because we truly desire to be a valuable resource to the entire community,” Solano said.

Since Solano stepped into the role as CEO and President in 2018, the organization has spent time evaluating the work they’ve done in the past and how pertinent it is to the business community, entrepreneurs and career-seekers in the Waco community. As a leading advocate in Central Texas for the business community’s economic and civic interests, the Chamber desires to build bridges in the community and be a trusted resource for the community as a whole.

While the pandemic has brought on unique challenges, in the future, the Chamber hopes it can continue to be a resource by providing a community space for events and receptions and facilitating events that foster connections and increase community access to business support.

Learn more about the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and find out how to become a member at wacohispanicchamber.com.

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